Incredible Women. Incredible Fashion. Every Day.

Art of Style

Get dressed with Margaret Zhang

The Sydney-born, New-York based photographer and director has developed a cult following in the fashion world thanks to her daring style. This is how she hones her distinctive look…

Zhang’s fail-safe fashion combo is a masculine-style blazer plus a pair of face-flattering hoop earrings

Blazers and hoops can elevate anything

“I started working in the fashion industry when I was 16, so my style evolution has been pretty significant – I hope! I don’t know if I have an outfit formula, but you’ll nearly always find me in a blazer. I truly believe a blazer and some lip stain can fix a multitude of problems. I really love oversized, androgynous styles and I’ll usually pair them with a simple T-shirt, tailored pants and, right now, cowboy boots. I’m also partial to a lacy bralette – Anine Bing does some amazing ones that look great poking out from under a low tee. And no matter what I’m wearing, simple gold hoops are always a great addition; they light up your face, which helps with jet lag.”

My hair dictates my makeup

“Most of the time, I have a fresh face and just apply some color around my eyes or a NARS lip stain. I don’t actually own foundation; if I’m on photoshoots makeup artists will use it, but by the end of the day my skin is really crying – I find it quite suffocating. I wasn’t really that much of a color person until a few years ago when I dyed my hair blond for a big campaign; I recently went pink for another one and I think by the time this feature comes out it’ll be fire-engine red! With dark hair, I always felt like eyeshadows looked a bit too intense, so I’ve used this as an opportunity to experiment. I love playing with oranges and using multipurpose lip, blush and eye colors in pink shades. I’m fan of a slick cat-eye liner, but I can never apply it evenly – with a shadow crème I can just smudge it around my eye and call it a day!”

I tailor my style to the city

“Traveling constantly and flitting between seasons (this week I flew from Beijing, where it was -9°C, to Sydney, where it’s the height of summer) has really helped me master the art of layering. I always bring loads of separates so I’m ready for anything and I’m very specific with shoes. I always bring one pair of flats, evening shoes, boots and sneakers for working out in. My style does change a little bit from city to city; in Paris and Shanghai I look a little more polished versus New York or Australia. Mostly, my mood dictates my look. One thing I always do is pack an extra change of clothes in my carry-on bag in case my luggage goes missing – which it has, many times.”

The seasoned traveler relies on a capsule wardrobe of easy-layering pieces to transition through different climates and seasons

Accessorize your evening

“When it comes to going straight from work to a night out, earrings are my cheat-sheet item. I have a great chandelier pair by Dodo Bar Or and some super-sparkly Alessandra Rich ones that can elevate any outfit. I love Meadowlark for organic pearl pieces and I have amazing Anne Boleyn-style velvet headbands that can switch up my look in an instant.”

Dries Van Noten, Loewe and Miu Miu SS19

Play favorites

“Raf Simons is such a culturally-informed designer. You can really immerse yourself in his world through all his historical, musical and film references. He doesn’t just copy and paste his work at every brand, he does his research and reinterprets the label. The way he designs is so thoughtful. When it comes to accessories, Loewe is always so strong – JW Anderson is incredibly talented. I also love Miuccia Prada; Miu Miu was one of my favorite collections this season, I loved the angsty teenage vibe. I watched the Dries Van Noten documentary recently and I was so intrigued by his process. I don’t think I am at the stage in my life where I’d call myself a Dries woman just yet, but I aspire to be one.”

The people featured in this story are not associated with NET-A-PORTER and do not endorse it or the products shown.